The 3 Ps of Federal Job Hunting

by Ryan Nitz, Head Editor, INALJ Alaska

The 3 Ps of Federal Job Hunting

renAre you considering federal librarianship in your job search?

Working for a federal agency is challenging in many ways, but correspondingly rewarding. Whether you’re primarily interested in the public service aspect, the opportunities to transfer and relocate, or the wide range of types of federal libraries and information centers, I’d say looking into becoming a fed is a worthy addition to the scope of your job search.

If you’re into the idea, I’d like to offer you 3 Ps that helped me in my job search:

be Prepared, be Patient, and be Pliable (because flexible doesn’t start with a P…).

Patience and flexibility being fairly self-explanitory, I’d like to highlight some things that can help in terms of being prepared. Do everything you can think of. If your LIS program has courses focused on federal librarianship, take them. If you can get on as a volunteer at a public information center for a federal agency, do that. Be creative and open to any idea that might get your foot in the proverbial door and land you some experience. Here are a few nice resources that can help you get a feel for issues in federal librarianship, and some steps you might consider taking to help you out:

A really great, informative Slideshare presentation by Helen Sherman:  http://www.slideshare.net/faflrt/careers-in-federal-libraries-the-road-to-federal-librarianship-presentation

Some info on scholarship money available for LIS students interested in federal librarianship: http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/scholarships/specialty/fedlibrarian

Federal Librarian, the newsletter: http://www.ala.org/faflrt/newsletters

And, of course, the USA Jobs website:  https://www.usajobs.gov/

(additions from NH:)

Careers in Federal Libraries GoogleGroup, LinkedIn page and Naomi House’s article on the group.

Happy hunting!

 

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ.com. INALJ has had over 18.5 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website, KhanMoving.com, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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